The German midfield partnership between Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich is, according to Hansi Flick, “one of the best duos in the world”.
Bayern Munich have started their country’s last three games together and are expected to consolidate their midfield in the Group J World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia on Monday.
Goretzka and Kimmich have teamed up in all seven Bundesliga games of Bayern this season and helped Julian Nagelsmann’s team to the top of the table.
Before Germany’s trip to North Macedonia, where the team could secure their place in Qatar with a win two game days before the end, Flick praised Kimmich and Goretzka, who also played an important role in his dominating Bayern team.
“Everyone knows that they get along well off the pitch,” he said at a press conference. “They complement each other and are top professionals.
“We need them to dictate our game. They harmonize well in midfield and we’re glad we have them.
“It’s one of the best midfield duos in the world.”
Manuel Neuer could return in goal for Germany after missing Friday’s win against Romania with an adductor injury. Flick also announced that defender Antonio Rudiger has doubts after missing training on Sunday.
– Germany (@DFB_Team_DE) October 9, 2021
Meanwhile, winger Serge Gnabry has defended team-mate Timo Werner, who came under fire after a subdued performance against Romania.
Despite being embroiled in an early penalty shoot-out, the Chelsea striker was replaced in the 67th minute after collecting just 24 touches and 19 passes – the lowest ever recorded by any German outfield player in the early stages – while also his two shots were on goal.
Nonetheless, Gnabry praised Werner’s pace of work and determination, insisting that the former RB Leipzig star was simply unhappy.
“We know there are times when a striker doesn’t always score,” said Gnabry. “Then there is criticism, but we stand behind Timo.
“He did a good job in the last game; he’s missed a bit of luck, but he’s giving it his all and that’s the most important thing.
“Timo is not [Robert] Lewandowski and not a classic striker, but he also has his qualities; he’s quick and can score goals too. “